To no one’s surprise, maintaining love requires effort from both people. Relationships are work and sometimes you get to your very last nerve with your partner and something breaks. Then there you are on the fence about something that you probably thought would last forever: Should you break up with them or try to push through the rocky patch and hope to come out the other side unscathed? And in choosing the latter, are you ready to put even more energy into making it stronger to withstand the current difficult situation? It’s all about what you’re willing to give. But before you give up on your relationship, it might be worth holding off.
One of the major downers about relationships is that the early stage of infatuation and lust doesn’t last forever. The days of not being able to get enough of your partner eventually cool off a bit, and you have yourself a relationship. What you also have is, as biological anthropologist Helen Fisher calls it, “Life’s greatest prize,” or more to the point, love.
While not all relationships are worth saving, because sometimes it really is better to make a clean break and run for it, yours just might be one that shouldn’t be given up on ― here are five reasons to convince you.
1. This Too Shall Pass
As much as I hate that phrase, it’s true. Relationships and love go through different phases. According to Fisher, love starts with infatuation. This is the initial part of a relationship that draws people together and makes them crazy about each other. What follows is a phase in which infatuation starts to dwindle and stability kicks in, before reaching the final stage which is attachment. It’s here that a relationship really starts to take hold, as security and ultimate comfort comes into play.
Combine all these emotional changes with outside sources, difficulties like dealing with money, family, and the rest of the baggage that comes with being in a grown-up relationship, and it isn’t easy. But these things are called stages and phases for a reason; it’s because they don’t last, which is something to always keep in mind when considering a breakup.
2. Deep Down You Know You Have Something Great With Them
According to surveys, 80 percent of Americans under the age of 30 firmly believe in soul mates. While, scientifically, the idea that there is only one person who is perfect for you is up for debate, when you find something that makes sense and works, then it’s worth fighting for. This isn’t too say that someone out there might not be a better fit, but it is to say that when you find someone with whom you’ve actually contemplated spending your life with, it means that at its core, your relationship is something special.
3. Your Future Without Them Looks Scary
Although the immediate future may look scary at the end of any relationship, it’s the far off future that really counts. If the thought of going it alone, without your partner, through all of life’s up and downs feels terrifying, then that tells you something. If you can’t imagine growing old with anyone else, despite how much your partner drives you bat shit crazy, then that’s some pretty big insight, too, that you need to reconsider cutting them from your life.
4. You Want To Fix Things, But Just Don’t Know How
Enter: Couples therapy.
According to the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, 97 percent of couples felt that therapy gave them the help they were looking for and 93 percent reported that therapy offered them the tools that they needed to deal with future problems and resolve them. You don’t have to be married to get therapy for your relationship, and having an unbiased third party help you along the way is really worth it.
5. You Fell In Love With Them For A Reason
You really did! While in the heat of the moment, after an argument that spiraled out of control and into a mess of hurling words of hate at each other, it might be difficult to recall, but you did. For that reason alone, it’s worth reconsidering giving up on your relationship. People don’t fall in love every day, so when it happens to you, you shouldn’t just give up on it.
Want more of Bustle's Sex and Relationships coverage? Check out our new podcast, I Want It That Way, which delves into the difficult and downright dirty parts of a relationship, and find more on our Soundcloud page.